I was excited when I learned that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has today a blog post entitled “A national reconciliation update”, as I thought it would signal an end to the nine-month hiatus of government after the 13th general elections, with a Prime Minister who seems to be rudderless, leadershipless and directionless especially on the important agenda of nation-building and national unity.
I could not believe my eyes when I read Najib’s blog-post, because it does not inspire hope that there is going to be a new purposeful leadership to end the government drift in the past nine months with an inclusive vision of nation-building, but a recipe for Najib to abdicate his responsibility as Prime Minsiter in a plural society but still clinging to the perks of office!
What was Najib’s answer to the worst racial and religious polarisation in post-13GE compared to any other time in the nation’s 56-year history and which led the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) to warn only last week that the Najib administration’s failure to act swiftly when dealing with racial and religiously sensitive incidents could lead to “serious consequences”?
The NUCC said in a statement that Putrajaya must move quickly as rising religious tensions could eventually hamper efforts to promote national unity.
It urged the Najib government “to uphold the rule of law and to actively promote national unity by taking prompt action against incendiary statements and actions which are provocative and can lead to conflict and tension with serious consequences affecting peace, harmony and national unity”.
What is Najib’s response to the NUCC call and the general expectation of the Malaysian citizenry that the government would be pro-active and even pre-emptive in taking measures to slap down and halt the increasing incidents of the incitement of racial and religious hatred and tensions through the spread of lies and falsehoods, to pit race against race and religion and religion, even if it would set the multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural nation in flames?
Instead of the promise of pro-active and pre-emptive action to save the country by giving no room or space for the evil and nefarious designs of the merchants and vendors of hate and violence, all that Najib is suggesting is that Malaysians should just ignore the demands of the instigators and extremists, i.e. “Don’t give them the air time or the publicity”.
I could not think of a more inane, useless or irresponsible plan to save the country from the sinister and nefarious forces out to pit race against race and religion against religion and to create racial chaos and religious conflagration, especially when it is the UMNO and BN-controlled printed, electronic and social media which gave precious oxygen to such instigators by sensationalising their extremist demands– in particular Utusan Malaysia and the UMNO/BN controlled electronic media of radio and television.
Will Najib immediately issue a directive to Utusan Malaysia and all Umno/BN-controlled printed, electronic and social media to stop giving oxygen to these instigators and extremists by denying them the “publicity they crave”?
If Najib is not prepared to issue such a directive, is he not condoning the instigators and extremists in their dastardly act of trying to pit race against race and religion against religion through the incessant incitement of racial and religious hatred and tensions with lies and falsehoods?
The least I had expected is an announcement by the Prime Minister serving a final warning to all and sundry that the government and all the forces at its command, including the police and the Attorney-General’s chambers, would be deployed to ensure that peace, harmony, progress and prosperity of all Malaysians would not be jeopardised or destroyed by the evil designs of a treacherous few who want to create racial chaos and religious conflagration through incessant incitement of racial and religious hatred and tensions with lies and falsehoods.
But Najib lacks such political will, commitment, leadership and vision to save Malaysia from the instigators and extremists set on creating racial chaos and religious conflagration through the ceaseless incitement of racial and religious hatred and tensions with lies and falsehoods.
All he is asking Malaysians is to “destroy” the instigators and extremists “by having faith in yourself and your fellow Malaysians”.
No talk that the full weight of the law would be brought to bear on anyone who preaches hate seeking to pit race against race and religion against religion to cause racial chaos and religious conflagration!
If this is all Najib could prescribe to ensure peace, harmony, progress and prosperity for all Malaysians, then he should not be Prime Minister as his proper vocation would be a Good Samaritan preaching from street to street and village to village to all mankind to do good and avoid harm to others!
Why the sudden compassion by Najib for the instigators and extremists who are out to set the plural Malaysian nation aflame?
And what is the use of the police, the Attorney-General’s Chambers and other national institutions if these instigators and extremists are suddenly to be given the powers of “immunity and impunity” to break the laws of the country and tear the country asunder?
Najib also blogs about the mysterious National Reconciliation Plan (NRP), which apparently, had been conceived in the greatest secrecy “after months of quiet work…now almost ready to implement our plan of action”.
Najib said: “The NRP will aim to encourage an environment that is conducive and promotes national reconciliation through unity and consensus across the country. What we want to do is to help inspire the rakyat to respect and reconnect with one another so as to make Malaysia a better home for all of us.”
It is certainly presumptuous on the part of a government elected on a minority vote of 47% of the electorate to work quietly and in secrecy to conceive a National Reconciliation Plan without consultation and input from the Pakatan Rakyat, which has secured a majority of 51% of the national vote.
Up to now, Pakatan Rakyat had never been consulted on the NRP and our olive branch of a Barisan Nasional-Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Summit on National Reconciliation and National Unity still await an official response from the Prime Minister and the BN leadership.
Furthermore, is this NRP which seems to be in the advanced stage of completion if not already completed, a totally different animal from the National Unity Blueprint (NUB) which is being prepared by the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) which has given itself a two-year deadline!
If the NRP is a different creature from the NUB, it raises questions firstly, what is the purpose of NUCC preparing a NUB when the government has almost a NRP in place; and secondly, whether it would cost taxpayers RM10 million or RM20 million like the Malaysian National Education Blueprint which the government paid RM20 million to foreign consultants to draft.
It is sad and shocking that after five years as Prime Minister, Najib does not seem the know that the deadly challenge posed by those who want to destroy the very fabric of Malaysian society through incessant incitement of racial and religious hatred and tensions is not “Don’t give extremists publicity”, but “Don’t give extremists any quarter” so as to stamp out all those who ceaselessly incite racial and religious hatred with lies and falsehoods to create racial chaos and religious conflagration.
When will Najib perform his duty and responsibility to the Malaysian nation and people as the sixth Prime Minister of the country?
(Media Statement in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, 25th February 2014)